Friday, 21 September 2012

India's Bharti station in south pole: Hyderabad gets "link" to the frozen continent of Antarctica

By Syed Akbar
Hyderabad: The city-based Electronics Corporation of India
Limited (ECIL) on Friday supplied highly sensitive and sophisticated
antenna for satellite communication and remote sensing operations in
the icy continent of Antarctica. The equipment will be located at
India’s Antarctic research station, Bharti.

The antenna has been designed especially for the extreme cold
conditions of the frozen continent. DS Jain, deputy director, National
Remote Sensing Centre (NRSC), flagged off the lorry carrying the
scientific consignment. Maj Gen (retd) Sanjeev Loomba, acting CMD of
ECIL, ChVRS Gopalakrishna, executive director, ECIL and M
Satyanarayana, project director, NRSC, were also present.

ECIL engineers will install the equipment during the ensuing summer
season in Antarctica from December to March. They will establish the
ground stations for earth observation satellites and communication
facility at Bharti Station.

The project includes design, development, fabrication, testing,
installation and commissioning of Data Reception Station (DRS)
operating in X and S bands for multi-mission remote sensing satellites
and  Data Communication Station (DCS) operating in C-band  linking
Bharti station at Antarctica and NRSC station at Shadnagar in the city
outskirts.

According to an official press release here, the communication
facility will support the service of transferring high-speed satellite
raw data in real time to NRSC and a two-way communication service to
NRSC. The link will also will provide a two-way communication service
between Antarctica and National Centre for Antarctica and Ocean
Research, Goa, which is the nodal agency for the coordination and
implementation of Indian Antarctica Support programme.

The equipment has to perform under severe climatic conditions i.e. sub
zero temperature of minus 40°C with wind speeds of 250 kmph.  The
challenges involved are setting up of two large diametre antennas,
enclosed in a radome to protect the antenna surface from heavy winds,
fabrication of platform for installing the antennas on the already
cast pile foundations.

In 2007, ECIL established the communication link between Maitri
Station in Antarctica and NCAOR, Goa for providing communication link
between Maitri Station and Mainland India.  Till date, the station is
functioning successfully with station availability of more than 99 per
cent.

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